A touch early for our reservation at The Sugar Club, glancing back up the escalator two men in blue blocked people’s entry. Standing at the concierge desk, there was suddenly a very recognisable voice that I couldn’t quite place. Slowly turning, I came face to face with him and his entourage. Solemn, unsmiling men in dark suits and boring ties, with those trademark transparent spiral earpieces but where were the dark shades. I smiled and he smiled back.
Suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder. We were on the move. Whisked to the 53rd floor, a stunning harbour and city panorama awaited us. Daydreaming as the melodic tones of the Glaswegian waiter guided us through the menu, we were first delighted by a lemony Sugar Club Gin Fizz. Every dish tantalised our taste buds as the wine flowed. Then a chance conversation with guests at the next table, realising we had gone to school together. It was a serendipitous encounter.
So it may seem surprising to some that this was my first dining experience at The Sugar Club, at Auckland’s Sky Tower. A long time Peter Gordon fan, yes cookbooks and all, dining at the original Sugar Club in Wellington, and indulging in an extravagant night out during my OE, at Notting Hill in the late 1990s, it definitely won’t be my last.
The final touch. A brief phone call (as I write) to ensure we had enjoyed our evening and even asking which dish we enjoyed most. Wild Paua, butter braised on smoked mash, creamed paua brioche and capers. In my mind it was absolutely perfect!